Its Looking All Bleak For England Against New Zealand

Sean KellyAnalyst IJune 2, 2008

New Zealand. The All Blacks. Possibly the most powerful Rugby nation in the world.

A team who, on their day, can be nothing short of unstoppable. A team who are famous for their fast, aggressive clinical gameplay. New Zealand, England's opponents in less than two weeks.

On June 14th England will run out at Eden Park, hoping to turn over the ever-powerful All Blacks.

Yet certain things have now added to England's despairs. First it was the injury of their talismanic fly half Danny Cipriani, and now this squad that hopes to beat New Zealand only just battled their way past a, to be honest, hopeless Barbarians side.

Last Sunday England just passed through the aggravating test of beating the Barbarians. If this game wasn't tedious enough with England's performance becoming more hopeless as each minute passed, the Baa Baa's didn't even play their traditional running game.

The only notably good performance in what else wasn't all that special, was that of Matt Tait.

The young Sale bound centre stunned defences and dazzled crowds with his attacking ability, and rounded off his game with a try of his own, slipping through the Barbarians defence.

Other than that the England performance was less that encouraging. I was hoping to see promising international starts from Danny Care, Topsy Ojo and Dylan Hartley only for all of them to be sucked into the general lacklustre efficiency of both teams.

And now hearing that England will be another two men down, with Paul Sackey and Dan Hipkiss pulling out of the squad, adds more pessimistic thoughts.

New Zealand will be seriously pumped. With their disappointing World Cup still in their minds. I am sure the whole team will be out to prove they are not that easily forgotten.

Graham Henry has undoubtedly lost some very important players to the northen hemisphere or retirement, but to underestimate the All Blacks would be a stupid mistake.

The New Zealand coach has named six uncapped players to his squad as well as controversially recalling battering ram Ma'a Nonu.

One things for sure, whoever New Zealand have out as their starting fifteen, England are going to have one hell of challenge in beating them.